What does it Mean when a Crime is “Aggravated”?

By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

www.rosenthalwadas.com

(972) 369-0577

It typically means “worse” or “heightened.”

The term ‘aggravated’ is applied to many different criminal charges and there is no uniform definition as to what allegation renders a charge ‘aggravated’ in any specific case.  One constant is an ‘aggravated’ allegation normally kicks the punishment range up a notch or more.  It can also affect parole eligibility if someone is sent to prison.

Here are the most common “Aggravated” offenses in Texas:

Aggravated Assault – Assault where someone either uses or exhibits a deadly weapon.  It can also mean assault which results in serious bodily injury.  See Texas Penal Code 22.02.

Aggravated Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is generally where a person conducts one of a number of prohibited sexual acts to another (Tex.Pen.C. 22.011).  Aggravated sexual assault can be committed where defendant inflicts serious bodily injury on the victim, assaults a person younger than 14, or a disabled or handicapped person.  Tex.Pen.C. 22.021).

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – sexual assault committed against a child younger than 14 years old.  Sexual assault of a child is committed where a child is between the ages of 14 and younger than 17.

Aggravated Perjury – perjury is making a false statement under oath.  It could be in an affidavit or an official document of some sort.  Aggravated perjury is a false statement during a court case which is considered material in nature to the proceedings.  Perjury is typically a Class a misdemeanor.  Aggravated perjury is elevated to a third degree felony.

Aggravated Robbery – Robbery is typically defined as theft plus assault regardless of how minor either is.  Aggravated Robbery is where a person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the commission of the robbery, causes serious bodily injury, or places in fear of imminent bodily injury of a person over 65 years of age or a disabled person.  Robbery is a 2nd Degree felony and aggravated robbery is a 1st degree felony.

Aggravated Kidnapping – Kidnapping is abducting a person.  Aggravated kidnapping is where someone is abducted with the intent to be held for ransom, intent to be used as a human shield, intent to sexually violate, or with intent to terrorize.

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution – This offense is for those who invest in, finance or promote prostitution of two or more persons.  See Tex.Pen.C. 43.04.

Aggravated Promotion of Online Prostitution – Promotion of prostitution done in a fashion which is online.  Tex.Pen.C. 43.041.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice.

 

 

 

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